AIDS group rallies behind GOP bill
A major AIDS activist group says the Obama administration and Democratic congress have dropped the ball on HIV/AIDS funding .. and a Republican-led bill is necessary to save lives.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation says a perfect storm of a bad economy and the skyrocketing cost of new medications has led to more and more Americans relying on the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, or ADAP, for lifesaving treatment.
These new patients have overloaded an already taxed system. The group says this week, Florida became the 11th state in the country forced to institute an ADAP waiting list. AHF President Michael Weinstein says a bill pending in congress could save lives – by sending 126 million dollars out of 20 BILLION in unused stimulus money to ADAP programs. That bill was introduced by two Republican Senators, Tom Coburn and Richard Burr.
Weinstein: “It’s shocking that this is coming from two conservative Southern Republican Senators. Where is Nancy Pelosi? Where is Barack Obama? Where is Harry Reid? We have a Democratic administration and Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, and we have not been able to move them one iota.”
Weinstein said political leaders AND gay community leaders have ignored the AIDS crisis – when they could have been solving it.
Weinstein: “We now have all the tools we need to stop this in its tracks. From condom promotion, to rapid testing to treatment. And when people are treated and their viral load is low, they’re rendered virtually non-infectious. We have what it takes to stop this, and we’re not doing it.”
Weinstein said supporters of people with HIV and AIDS should call Nancy Pelosi’s office and ask her to rally Democrats behind Coburn and Burr’s measure.